Energy Month will be observed under the theme “‘A Re-silient Community: Energy at the Centre,” and the launch will take place on Monday November 2, in the form of an on-line Panel Discussion with energy and finance experts, policy-makers, and persons who have been at the forefront of energy in the region, as well as an interactive session with the public
The Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat, as well as the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE), along with the European Union and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ) are partnering to organise the activities at the regional level.
Meanwhile, CCREEE said that financial institutions across the Caribbean had the opportunity this week to learn more about project support systems and tools within the renewable energy and energy efficiency space.
It said although renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies have seen notable decreases in cost, leading to significantly lower capital needed to invest in new systems, financing renewable energy projects remains a major difficulty in the region.
Project development support, along with risk reduction measures can therefore increase investment in these projects. To support this endeavour, the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) and the CCREEE partnered to develop a sensitization session for more than 25 financial institutions, across the 15-member CARICOM grouping.
CCREEE’s executive director, Dr Gary Jackson, remarked on the centrality of financial institutions – such as commercial banks, credit unions and development banks – in the development of the sustainable energy sector.
“The CCREEE recognizes that there are gaps existing in sustainable energy project development and the establishment of the Project Preparation Facility seeks to fill some of those gaps. It cannot be done however, without partnerships; partnerships with the private sector and with regional bodies,” he said.
The CCREEE Project Preparation Facility (PPF) is being established with a view to tackle barriers to the development of high-quality sustainable energy projects across CARICOM. In tandem, the Credit Risk Abatement Facility (CRAF) seeks to incentivise additional lending from local financing institutions for renewable energy and energy efficiency interventions in CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) member states.
“As our region seeks to lessen its reliance on fossil fuels for its energy needs, an ambition which is critical to achievement of the sustainable growth and prosperity of our mainly island economies, the ability to provide appropriate and adequate financing for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects has become an increasingly important enabler.
“It is therefore imperative that local financial institutions become better acquainted with, and acquire a sound understanding of the tools and facilities that are being designed by our regional agencies to enhance their capacity to assess, fund and manage sustainable energy loan portfolios.” said Rodinald Soomer, chief executive officer of the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF).
On the panel will be chaired by Ms. Davia Chambers, and include Dr. Devon Gardner, Energy Programme Manager at the CARICOM Secretariat; Ms. Kim Griffith Tang-How, Director, Customer Solutions, Barbados Light and Power Company; Ms Angella Rainford, CEO and Founder of Soleco and Rekamniar Frontier Ventures, and Professor, Chandrabhan Sharma, Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus.
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